Campus News

Gatton Hosts Yale Prof for Discussion on Fighting Poverty

Wed, 03/23/2016 - 11:08

LEXINGTON, Ky., (March 24, 2016) — Dean Karlan, professor of economics at Yale University and founder and president of Innovations for Poverty Action, will speak at the Kincaid Auditorium in the University of Kentucky's new Gatton College of Business and Economics building on Friday, April 1. His presentation, "Pragmatic Optimism in the Fight Against Poverty," is scheduled for 3 to 4 p.m. and is expected to include a question and answer session.


Innovations for Poverty Action is a nonprofit organization dedicated to discovering and promoting effective solutions to global poverty problems.


Karlan's appearance is presented by the UK Economics Society, the Department of Economics, and the college. The Gatton College also is home to the UK Center for Poverty Research.


Admission to the event is free and open to the public.



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACTS:  Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200; Ann Mary Quarandillo, 859-257-0750.

UK to Host Conversation About Sustainable Food Systems

Wed, 03/23/2016 - 10:16

LEXINGTON, Ky., (March 24, 2016) — Scholars, community members and students are invited to convene at the University of Kentucky April 7 for the 2016 Food Studies Symposium. The event is a cross-disciplinary conversation about sustainable food systems scholarship, research and curriculum. Participants will help shape the future of food systems studies at the university.


A panel discussion, “Building a Campus-wide, Multi-stakeholder Initiative/Program on Sustainability and Food Systems Studies: Learning from Our Leaders in the Field,” will be held from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, April 7, in the E. S. Good Barn, followed by a reception. The event is free and open to the public. The goal is to share current food scholarship, build collaborations, identify opportunities, stimulate research and envision an interdisciplinary foods program.


Invited speakers include Peggy Barlett, faculty liaison to Emory University’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives; Tom Kelly, founding executive director of the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire; and Jane Kolodinsky, former chair of the University Food System Initiative Steering Committee and chair of the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont.


Emory University has made sustainability a core commitment, and as faculty liaison, Barlett focuses on curriculum innovation. She has written and edited several books, including "Urban Place: Reconnection with the Natural World." Barlett holds a doctoral degree in anthropology from Columbia University.


Kelly, in collaboration with faculty, staff, students and members of the community, develops policies, programs and practices in biodiversity, climate, culture and food. He is co-editor and co-author of "The Sustainable Learning Community: One University’s Journey to the Future." He holds a doctoral degree in international relations from Tufts University.


Kolodinsky is passionate about applying the concepts of demand, consumer behavior and marketing principles to improve well-being. As a department chair, she oversees degree programs that include community entrepreneurship, applied design, green building and community design, and community development and applied economics. She holds a doctoral degree in consumer economics from Cornell University.


The symposium is co-sponsored by the Sustainability Challenge Grant, The Food Connection at UK and the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment. More information is available online at



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT:  Carol Lea Spence, 859-257-8324.

A Day in the Life of a UK Student: March 23, 1912

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 16:34

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2016) — In celebration of the University of Kentucky sesquicentennial in 2015, UK Special Collections Research Center began releasing the diary entries of former student Virginia Clay McClure in fall of 2014. The diary chronicles the day-to-day activities of McClure's junior and senior years at the State University of Kentucky (now UK) from 1910-1912. McClure's 184th diary entry from March 23, 1912, recalls spending the night with a friend.


March 23rd. Spent the night with Evelyn.


More on Virginia Clay McClure


Virginia Clay McClure, a native of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, graduated in 1912 with an AB degree and received her master’s degree in 1928 from UK. After receiving her AB, she taught for a year at Middlesboro, Kentucky, another year at Paducah, Kentucky, and seven years in Cynthiana, Kentucky. After this, she returned to Lexington, where she taught for nine and a half years in the Fayette County schools. At this point, she took two and a half years off of work to complete her doctorate.


The first woman to receive a Ph.D. from UK, McClure said that her department chairman did not “want a woman to get a doctor’s degree.” In spite of those words, McClure received her doctoral degree in American history in 1934.


Her dissertation was “The Settlement of the Kentucky Appalachian Region,” about which “nothing had been done before.” McClure did significant original research for the dissertation and made several trips to Eastern Kentucky with Katherine Pettit, who had taught in settlement schools, including Pine Mountain School, which she helped to establish.


McClure planned to teach at the college level but after finishing her dissertation in the midst of the depression, colleges were laying off faculty rather than hiring them. She then joined the Fayette County School system, then Lexington City Schools, and taught United States history and government at Henry Clay High School from 1934-1959. A position that she found quite rewarding.


The UK alumna and educator was very active in the community. McClure was a member of Central Christian Church and Kappa Delta Pi Honorary, Kentucky and National Retired Teachers associations, Salvation Army Auxiliary, Cardinal Hill Hospital Auxiliary and numerous historical societies. She was also a charter member of the Lexington Rose Society, twice serving as president, and was a member of the American Rose Society.


McClure passed away in 1980 at 91 years of age.


The Virginia Clay McClure papers are housed at the Special Collections Research Center and include a diary/scrapbook, a photograph album and other assorted photographs related to McClure's time as an undergraduate at State University, Lexington, Kentucky from 1910-1912. The scrapbook includes clippings, small artifacts, programs and invitations, but the bulk of the material is McClure's many personal writings. The photograph album and loose photographs also document this time period and include photographs of her UK classmates (many of whom are identified and also mentioned in her scrapbook); class trips and events (such as Arbor Day); and women playing basketball among other casual snapshots.


This story on UK's history is presented by UK Special Collections Research Center. UK Special Collections is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian collection and the digital library, ExploreUK. The mission of the center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.


Diary transcriptions completed by senior Taylor Adams, Special Collections Learning Lab intern and history major from Ashland, Kentucky.



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

Confucius Institute, Education Abroad Launch New China Seminar Grant

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 16:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2016) — In collaboration with University of Kentucky Education Abroad, the UK Confucius Institute will provide annual funding to support the development and implementation of a summer, UK faculty-directed education abroad program in China.


The program should be at least four weeks long and prominently feature some form of high-impact educational programming, such as undergraduate research or service-learning. Program proposals should leverage UK’s existing strengths and partnerships in China (i.e., Fudan University, East China Normal University, etc.).


"The idea of the Confucius Institute working with Education Abroad is brilliant and innovative," said Huajing Maske, director of the UK Confucius Institute and executive director of the Office of China Initiatives. "We are leading among our peers in benchmark universities by working together to leverage our resources and synergy, broadening and developing new programs for UK and its Chinese partners. We hope that these high-impact programs will play a significant role in enhancing learning and teaching on the UK campus and in China."


All travel and program development must be completed by the start of the academic year in which the program is to be offered (i.e., September for a summer program) and should intend to enroll approximately 10-12 students. Faculty members must be serving in a representative capacity of their academic unit.


"We’re delighted to partner with the UK Confucius Institute to develop another Education Abroad program in China, especially those programs that embed high-impact experiences," said Anthony Ogden, executive director of UK Education Abroad and Exchanges. "We’re confident that when we embed high-impact experiences in education abroad, student learning and development are enhanced."


The grant provides two-fold support. UK Education Abroad will provide a $2,500 program development grant to support the UK faculty member or instructor to travel to China for the purpose of establishing the proposed program. UK Confucius Institute will provide $14,000 toward the total cost of the program to lower the program fee assessed to participants.



  • Applications will only be considered for new and credit-bearing programming. Previous recipients or existing programs are not automatically excluded. 
  • Applications should be for new, China-based programs of at least four weeks in duration that prominently feature some form of high-impact educational programming. Only summer, stand-alone programs are eligible.
  • Applications must be supported by a letter from the appropriate college dean or department head explaining how the project contributes to the international goals of the strategic plan of the college/unit. Matching funds are not required, but are encouraged.

Proposals will be evaluated based on different criteria including, but not limited to:

  • overall viability, academic need and sustainability of the proposed education abroad program;
  • degree to which the proposed program will promote global competency and/or have a positive impact on the overall internationalization of UK; and
  • extent to which the proposed program promotes the UK International Center’s goals for diversifying education abroad programming.

To read the complete evaluation criteria and other details, download the application form here.


A selection committee will evaluate all applications and make a recommendation to the Education Abroad Committee of the International Advisory Council for final determination within four to six weeks of the application deadline.


Deadline to submit proposals for summer 2017 programs is 5 p.m., May 1. Deadline to submit proposals for summer 2018 programs is 5 p.m., Nov. 1.


Questions, applications and supporting materials should be sent to Huajing Maske via email at Faculty members are encouraged to discuss potential program ideas with UK Education Abroad prior to submission.


A gateway for Chinese language, culture and art to the people of Kentucky, UK Confucius Institute provides leadership, support and coordination for Chinese language and programs in K-12 schools as well as on UK's campus; assists and facilitates establishing and maintaining faculty and student exchanges between UK colleges and Chinese universities; conducts Chinese language and cultural exchange; and promotes education about China on campus, across the Bluegrass region, and throughout the Commonwealth. To keep up with UK Confucius Institute and future events, join the institute's listerv and follow them on FacebookTwitter and Snapchat (UKConfucius).



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

May Graduates: Apply to be Undergraduate Student Speaker at Commencement

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 15:45

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2016) — Keeping with tradition at the University of Kentucky, an undergraduate student will be selected to speak at each of two undergraduate Commencement ceremonies, which will take place at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 8, in Rupp Arena.


Students interested in speaking must submit their applications by Monday, March 28.


To be considered, applicants must be receiving an undergraduate degree from UK at the May 8 ceremony. Additionally, the applicants must have contributed to UK through campus or community activities and through their fields of study. Applicants must also demonstrate strong public speaking skills.


Undergraduate students who wish to apply must submit a résumé, information sheet and a copy of their proposed speech no longer than three typed, double-spaced pages. Incomplete applications will not be considered by the selection committee. The committee may contact any applicant for a 15 minute interview and speech demonstration.


 Applications are available online at


All May graduates should register for Commencement at



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343;

UKSGA Announces Applications for Summer Internships in D.C. and Frankfort

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 15:43

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2016)  The University of Kentucky Student Government Association (UKSGA) is excited to announce that applications for summer internships in Washington, D.C., and Frankfort are now available.


"The internships sponsored by UKSGA and so graciously provided by our state and federal officials extend the university's reach beyond the Commonwealth," said UKSGA Director of Government Relations Boone Proffitt. "They give students the opportunities to expand their worldviews while introducing them to valuable connections and lessons they can carry on post-graduation."


Students have the opportunity to apply for internship positions in the offices of Kentucky's U.S. senators and representatives and in Kentucky’s Office of Secretary of State. Listed below are the available internships for summer 2016. Application materials specific to each office are also linked below.

· Sen. Rand Paul

· Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-02)

· Rep. Hal Rogers (R-05)

· Rep. Andy Barr (R-06)

· Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes


If selected, students will receive a stipend to help defray costs of working in Washington, D.C., or Frankfort. The stipend for the D.C. internships is $1,500 and the stipend for the Secretary of State internship is $400.


In addition to the office-specific forms, fill out the SGA application form, and submit a résumé and cover letter (one-page each) to Boone Proffitt at You must submit all application materials (both SGA and office-specific forms) by 5 p.m. Thursday, March 31, in order to be considered. If you have any questions regarding the information above, contact Boone Proffitt at



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Katy Bennett or Rebecca Stratton, or, 859-257-1909/859-323-2395 

Center for Research on Violence Against Women to Kick off Lecture Series Tomorrow

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 15:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2016) — Tomorrow, endowed faculty with the University of Kentucky Center for Research on Violence Against Women (CRVAW) will launch a new lecture series called "Researching Violence: A Series Addressing Research Challenges, Strategies, and Practices."


The first talk of the series, "Measuring Intimate Partner Violence: Problematic Assumptions and Downright Fallacies," will be given by Diane Follingstad, director and endowed chair of CRVAW, at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 24, in the James Hardymon Theater of the UK Marksbury Building. The talk is free and open to the public.


The endowed faculty are focused on producing excellent research designed to improve the quality of life of those affected by forms of violence that disproportionately involve women, and ultimately preventing such violence. They are also highly motivated to share their expertise and experience with others to promote research efforts in Kentucky and beyond.


The series will present various topics over the next two years regarding the challenges of conducting research on violence against women and strategies utilized in their research. The focus will be on conceptual and practical approaches in the field of violence against women rather than presenting research findings of specific studies. The goal is to provide information to researchers, students and organizations’ personnel that may enhance their own planning and projects. 



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, 859-257-5343;

Houston, We Have a Problem: Astronaut Jim Lovell to Headline Sanders-Brown Annual Dinner

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 13:28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2016) — You'd be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't heard the phrase, "Houston, we have a problem."


Those five words scrambled NASA Flight Control in Houston and made Capt. Jim Lovell, commander of Apollo 13, an enduring national icon.


On April 7, 2016, almost 46 years to the day Apollo 13 splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean after one of the most harrowing chapters in space exploration to date, Lovell will be the featured speaker at the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Foundation's annual dinner.


In 1970, space exploration was starting to become a routine enterprise in the public's eyes, and the Apollo 13 mission was, according to an MSNBC documentary, "the moon mission people ignored." But that changed when two of the spaceship's three oxygen tanks exploded, leaving the crew stranded without electrical power, computers or the use of their propulsion system approximately 200,000 miles from Earth.


"I floated back to look at the tank gauges, and one was at zero, and the second one was going down," he recalled.  "Then I looked out the window and I could see gas escaping at a fairly high rate.  It didn't take much to put two and two together and know we were in really big trouble."


That moment, says Lovell, was like a "lead weight sinking to the bottom of my stomach."


But with the inventiveness of the staff at Houston's Johnson Space Center and the courageous spirit of Lovell and his crew Fred W. Haise Jr., and John L. "Jack" Swigert Jr., the astronauts repurposed what little they had on board with them to modify the lunar module into an effective lifeboat that would return them to Earth safely against all odds. The dramatic story of Lovell's calm, careful command and the teamwork of his co-astronauts and ground crew has been immortalized in books and on film, and earned Lovell the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Neil Armstrong Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Aviation Hall of Fame.


At the Sanders-Brown annual dinner, Lovell will share how teamwork was an essential element in the success of Apollo 13’s safe return to Earth and how that same team spirit can help patients with Alzheimer's or other age-related dementias — and their families — persevere through terrible strife.


"Having Captain Lovell come is a delight for us, since he personifies the qualities that we see in the Sanders-Brown researchers and in the families touched by Alzheimer's disease," said Bennett Prichard, COAF board member and dinner committee chairman. 


The UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has been conducting research on Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other age-related disease for more than 35 years. In 1985, the Center was one of the first ten National Institutes of Health-funded (NIH) Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers, and today is one of only a handful of centers that has enjoyed continuous ADC funding.


The SBCoA Foundation was founded to support this internationally prestigious research center, underwriting the work that identifies mechanisms for healthy brain aging and age-related diseases and exploring treatments that may slow down, cure and/or prevent these diseases entirely.


The dinner will take place Thursday, April 7 at the Lexington Center Blue Grass Ballroom starting with a cocktail reception at 6:30 pm. The dinner and program begins at 7:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $175; table sponsorships start at $1,500. For more information contact the Foundation Office at 859-323-5374.


Media Contact: Laura Dawahare,

Auditions Open to All UK Students for Springsteen Rock Musical

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 09:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016) — Open auditions for an original rock musical at the University of Kentucky take place 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, in 117 Fine Arts Building — the Dance Studio.  The auditions for actors and singers are open to all UK students, including students who are not theater or music majors.



The show, "The Promised Land," is an original rock musical based on the music and lyrics of "The Boss" Bruce Springsteen.  It is being produced by UK Opera Theatre.


Students selected for the show must enroll in an eight-week summer course, June 9-Aug. 4.


For more information, visit or contact Courtney Reed, with UK Opera Theatre at or 859-257-9331. More information is also available at and

All-Star Ensemble to Perform Works by Pierre Boulez, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 16:04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016)Dieter Hennings, assistant professor of guitar at University of Kentucky School of Music, and an all-star ensemble will present "Le marteau sans maitre" ("The Hammer Without Master"), the 1953 masterwork by iconic composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, along with Pulitzer Prize finalist Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon's stunning song cycle "Sones de tierra fría." The free public concert will begin 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall.


A controversial work of chrystalline, hallucinatory beauty, "Le marteau sans maitre" by Pierre Boulez is rarely performed due to its monumental technical and interpretive demands. The "Marteau" perplexed many composers and theorists of the day with the complexity of its harmonic language. It was a rallying cry for the postwar avant-garde, and became one of the most important works of the 20th century, standing alongside Arnold Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire," Igor Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du soldat" and Olivier Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time" as one of the greatest achievements in modern chamber music.


Historical importance and infamous difficulty aside, the music speaks for itself: amidst an exotic and seductive sound world of alto flute, xylorimba, vibraphone, percussion, guitar and viola, texts by the surrealist poet René Char melt into a sea of colors and textures. Australian, Chicago-based mezzo-soprano Jessica Aszodi, member of the acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble, delivers the virtuosic solo vocal part. Grammy Award-winner Molly Barth takes the stage with the alto flute, and Andrew Bliss, the distinguished UK graduate, joins the percussion section.


"Sones de tierra fría" is by Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, one of Mexico's most prominent composers, who studied with George Crumb and Franco Donatoni and teaches at Eastman School of Music.


"'Sones de tierra fría' is an extended 'cancionero' (a songbook), currently 'under construction.' The title of the work refers to my having composed all these songs — my tribute to the 'sones' of México — in Rochester, New York, the cold northern region where I have made my home for the past 13 years," the composer said.


When completed, "Sones de tierra fría" will include settings of poems in several languages, penned by a number of authors from different eras, but woven together by a common thematic thread — love and absence. The cycle is also unified by its musical content: each song develops and recasts a small collection of harmonic and melodic archetypes, resulting in an overall formal design that is akin to a set of variations. The composer draws on texts from William Shakespeare (sonnets relating to night and day), and the Mexican poet Raúl Aceves. Internationally renowned soprano Tony Arnold is the soloist in these lush, evocative and rhythmically vital settings.


Other guest artists joining Hennings on stage are percussionist Stuart Gerber, fellow member of Bent Frequency and professor of percussion at Georgia State University; violinist Hanna Hurwitz, fellow member of Eastman BroadBand; violist John Richards, of JACK Quartet; percussionist Paul Vaillancourt, professor of percussion at Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University; and conductor Tim Weiss, director of Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble.


For more information on this concert, contact UK doctoral candidate Jeremy Bass, at


The UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, theory and music history.



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

UK-UofL Executive MBA Program Achieves Tier One Global Ranking

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 15:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016) — With its first class graduating just three months ago (December 2015), the joint University of Kentucky-University of Louisville Executive MBA program is already being ranked in the top tier. Recently, the UK-UofL EMBA became the only program in the region ranked in CEO Magazine's Tier One Global EMBA programs for 2016.


CEO Magazine has been showcasing top business schools from around the globe since it first launched in 2008. In 2012, the publication launched its annual global MBA rankings, designed with applicants in mind and examining the nuts and bolts of an MBA: the faculty, learning environment, class sizes, tuition fees, delivery methods, international diversity, gender make-up and more. The objective is simple: to identify schools which marry exceptional quality with great ROI.


“We are pleased to be recognized with a tier one executive MBA program ranking,” said Joe Labianca, co-director of the UK-UL Executive MBA program at the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics. “It is extremely gratifying to be ranked as an outstanding program that prepares seasoned professionals to advance in their careers and achieve their goals.”


Drawing upon the top-tier faculty from UK's Gatton College of Business and Economics and UofL’s College of Business, this first-rate Executive MBA program is aimed at rising executives from regional organizations, and maximizes the industry expertise of the students in a dynamic, cohort-based learning environment. With sessions split between the UK campus in Lexington and the UofL campus in Louisville, its Friday and Saturday classes on every other weekend allow students to keep their existing jobs, while preparing for more senior roles. Applications are being accepted now at; the next cohort will begin coursework in August 2016.


“This ranking is a wonderful recognition of the unique partnership forged between Kentucky’s two top research universities to serve the Commonwealth and our region,” said T. Vernon Foster, executive director, MBA Programs and Career Management at the University of Louisville College of Business. “Our EMBA faculty members bring real-world experience to the classroom, where students can collaborate and develop effective leadership, problem-solving and research strategies.”


For the full 2016 CEO Magazine Global EMBA Rankings, visit



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACTS: Ann Mary Quarandillo, 859-257-0750; Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200.

Breakthrough Clinical Trial Success Attributed to Dedicated Metabolic Team, Patients with Rare Genetic Disorder

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 15:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016)  — In his 46 years, Gordon Lester has never experienced the satisfaction of ordering his first-choice item off a restaurant menu.


The native of Russell Springs, Kentucky, has never bit into a crunchy chicken wing or savored a hamburger hot off the grill. He’s resisted flavorful foods and missed out on memorable family meals because his wellness and mental capacity depended on it — until now.


For Lester, a patient with a rare genetic disorder, Phenylketonuria (PKU), eating protein even in the smallest amounts is a poison. Patients with PKU lack the enzyme to break down an amino acid found in protein. When the metabolic syndrome isn’t managed through dietary restrictions, amino acids called phenylalanine build up in the patient’s blood stream and become toxic to the brain. The disease degrades an individual’s cognitive capacity, resulting in a reduction of IQ points over time, as much as one to two points per year, and causing a number or side effects, including moodiness and loss of concentration. If the condition is not diagnosed and managed early in life, patients will suffer from severe psychiatric disorders, including mental retardation.





Each patient’s ability to break down protein varies, but most patients must adhere to a strict low-protein diet of fruits, vegetables and a metabolic formula to prevent the deterioration of cognitive abilities and the onset of psychiatric disorders.


Now, after returning to the clinic where he received treatment for PKU as a child, Lester is increasing his intake of protein without fear of the adverse effects of his disease.


Since November 2014, Lester has participated in a Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) clinical trial testing an aggressive enzyme therapy to help PKU patients tolerate higher levels of protein. KCH is one of multiple sites around the nation participating in an experimental trial testing the safety and efficacy of a Biomarin pharmaceutical that reduces concentrations of phenylalanine in the bloodstream. In the time he’s received incremental dosages of the potent therapy, Lester’s tolerance for protein has increased from about 8 grams per day, or the amount of protein in an 8-ounce glass of milk, to 35 grams a day, or about the amount of protein in a small piece of meat.


Last month, Lester’s enzyme levels were high enough for his enzymes to break down a cheeseburger. His wife and two children piled around the dinner table with camera phones ready to capture Lester’s long-awaited first bite of beef. 


“It’s a whole new world for me,” Lester said of his menu options. “And not one I thought I would have the chance to have in my lifetime.”


One of the oldest PKU patients to participate in the trial, Lester has encouraged others with his condition to return to KCH to receive the progressive treatment, which he credits with allowing him to have more flexibility in his diet. Dr. Stephen Amato, a genetic metabolic specialist at KCH who serves as the principal investigator on the clinical trial, and his study team faced the logistical challenge of bringing adult patients back to KCH to participate in the trial. After adjusting to their condition as children, many PKU patients treated at KCH as children drifted away from their original point of care. Fewer than 20 percent of PKU patients nationwide receive regular clinical care, and even fewer follow the restrictive diet as adults.


Study recruitment stemmed from the KCH metabolic team’s previous efforts to “reclaim” patients who had fallen off the grid. Metabolic dietitian Nicole McWhorter and Angela Crutcher, a nurse practitioner in the clinic, accessed decades-old medical records in a long effort to personally contact patients to present the opportunity to volunteer for the trial.


Out of 150 pediatric medical records, the team was able to contact about 50 PKU participants. Volunteering for the trial is an intensive and time-consuming process spanning three years. The KCH pediatric clinic first screened participants, and eligible participants started with a daily injection of the enzyme therapy in 2013. Those patients who responded positively to the treatment advanced to the next stage of the study, which involved the continuation of daily dosages as well as cognitive tests and psychological counseling.


While many PKU patients lost contact with the KCH clinic, some continued receiving treatment at KCH into adulthood. One of those patients, Chase Herndon, was studying psychology at UK when he learned about the innovative trial coming to KCH in 2013. Herndon attended PKU summer camps at Lake Cumberland and remained in contact with many of his former camp friends and PKU families through social media groups. He also worked as a camp counselor at a summer camp, mentoring youth who struggled to adhere to their diet during a period of growth, temptation and peer pressure.


Herndon, whose cognitive abilities suffered when he went off the diet during high school, felt an obligation to help others with the condition preserve their wellness and maximize their potential in life by encouraging adherence to the PKU diet. When he returned to the diet, he pledged to never again trade his future career and productivity for the short-term gain of a cheeseburger. 


“I like to think of myself as a quick-witted guy, and I had taken a step or two back from that,” Herndon said of going off his PKU diet in high school.


Herndon was excited to learn about the KCH clinical trial testing a treatment he considered the “closest thing to a cure” for PKU. But he wasn’t eligible to volunteer for the study because he was experiencing success with another therapy and his levels of phenylalanine in his blood were too low to participate in a study designed for patients with high levels of intolerance. Herndon’s fidelity to the PKU diet rendered him ineligible for the trial.


“The reason it was so enticing is, my (phenylalanine) levels could be at a level I’ve never seen, except when I was a baby,” Herndon said of the new therapeutic. “I joked and said I was going to go eat a box of Kentucky Fried Chicken just to qualify.” 


Even though he wasn’t a candidate for the trial, Herndon wanted other PKU patients in Kentucky to have the opportunity to improve their quality of life by volunteering for the study. Fulfilling an internship credit for one of his classes, Herndon volunteered as a research assistant in Amato’s pediatric clinic during the spring semester of 2014. His primary role was assisting the metabolic team in recruiting adults who were once treated as children for PKU but had since lost contact with the clinic and their pediatrician. The study team gave Herndon a list of former patients to call, and he already knew many of the individuals on the list through his PKU social networks.


In speaking with fellow patients about their lifelong struggles with PKU, Herndon learned many PKU patients abandoned their rigid diet at some point in adulthood, giving way to cognitive and behavioral dysfunction. He came across heart-wrenching stories of irreparable damage cause by the mismanagement of the condition. One patient’s neglect of the PKU diet caused serious birth defects in her children. But his fellow PKU patients also inspired him with their stories of sacrifice. Herndon motivated patients to enroll in the study, urging them to consider the potential long-term gains of the therapy rather than the temporary burden of aggressive treatment. Through the recruiting efforts of Herndon, Crutcher, and McWhorter, KCH recruited the third-most participants of any site collecting data for the national trial.


“It’s allowed me to understand where people are coming from and not be judgmental,” Herndon said of his role in recruitment. “Some people wanted to get off the phone, and some people just didn’t care. I tried to be really down to earth and maybe talk about some of the struggles I’ve had. I tried to give them my background and where I was coming from.”


Through his recruitment role, Herndon gained a greater appreciation for those people who held him accountable to the PKU diet throughout his life, especially his parents and PKU role models like Gordon Lester. Herndon said Lester personified toughness in confronting the limitations of his disease. As a young PKU patient, Herndon heard stories about Lester — a teenager at the time — pricking his own foot without hesitation to draw blood and check his levels. After that, Herndon started to believe people who suffered from PKU were not weak and vulnerable, but tough and resilient.


As a youth, Lester couldn’t break down the minimal amounts of protein found in most foods, consuming about 5 or 6 grams of protein per day growing up. With his family and pediatrician at KCH as his support system, Lester pushed forward in life, determined to achieve in academics and a career despite the looming threat of losing his cognitive abilities should he stray from his diet. Despite his lifelong struggle to maintain the diet, Lester graduated from Western Kentucky University and now works as a resource director for the local school system.


“A lot of people have different issues in their life — mine is as simple as not being able to eat what you want to,” Lester said. “Something that is so simple to one person might not be so simple for the other.”


Herndon has also maintained his cognitive abilities through his commitment to the PKU diet and clinical therapies to treat the condition. He graduated with a psychology degree in 2014 and plans to apply to graduate school to study evolutionary psychology. Through his experience with the clinical trial, Herndon learned that personal change must originate with each individual. Still, through his involvement with the study, he knows he presented many PKU patients with the chance to experience a better — or at least tastier — lifestyle.


“What I was trying to preach to them is, ‘you can get back on track — this is a breakthrough drug, and you can possibly be part of the study,’” Herndon said. “You have to spark something inside of them to want to be better.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue

'Good Morning America' Interviews Emotional UK Basketball Fan

Sun, 03/20/2016 - 20:47

LEXINGTON, Ky. ( March 21, 2016) — University of Kentucky mathematical economics major Taylor Hunt probably had no idea when her emotions took over at the end of the UK-Indiana basketball game that her reaction — captured on national TV — would go viral.


But for the London, Kentucky, senior and saxophone player in the UK pep band, her tears over the Wildcat’s close loss in the NCAA tourney prompted ABC network's "Good Morning America" (GMA) to interview her for a story on the national program Monday morning.


Hunt, interviewed Sunday evening at K-Lair in the heart of campus, recounted for GMA that emotions had been building throughout the game for her and her bandmates as the Cats played a close, tension-filled game against the Indiana Hoosiers. Toward the end of the contest, as senior Alex Poythress stood at the line for two free throws, Hunt said her emotions simply overtook her and the tears started flowing.


The honest, emotional reaction was captured on the CBS national broadcast. Hunt said at one point, right before the end of the game, she glanced at her phone and noticed that it was blowing up with messages about her tears of sadness being captured on TV.


In recounting the experience for national television, Hunt said what many Wildcat fans feel: 


“I always cheer for the Wildcats,” she said. “I can’t imagine cheering for anyone else.”


"I’ve been here for four years,” she added.  "It has been a crazy four years. It has been an awesome four years."


Hunt's story is expected to air between 7 and 8 a.m. Monday morning on GMA.



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue


Alternative Textbook Grant Program Supports Teaching, Learning and Student Success

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 16:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2016) — Committed to supporting student success and knowledge sharing, University of Kentucky Libraries is launching the Alternative Textbook Grant Program to encourage faculty members to adopt peer-reviewed, open access alternative textbooks or to create alternative textbooks for their courses.  Faculty members may apply for one of 10 grants of up to $1,500 each to implement any curriculum change required for the use of alternative textbooks. 


Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown that the cost of college textbooks has risen 82 percent from 2002 to 2012.  Studies indicate that the financial burden of textbooks negatively impacts student success by limiting students’ access to essential learning resources.


Open educational resources and alternative textbooks present a proven solution and allow faculty members to customize course materials in timely and innovative manners.  UK Libraries’ academic liaisons will provide faculty members with assistance in identifying existing alternative textbooks and UK Libraries’ licensed information resources that are appropriate substitutes for traditional textbooks. 


Any current UK faculty member teaching a course in 2017 using a commercial textbook is eligible to apply for one of the 10 alternative textbook grants.  Proposals must be submitted via the program’s online form


The Faculty Senate Library Committee will review the proposals. Successful applicants will be notified of awards in early FY 16/17.  Selection criteria include strength of statement of concern, estimated potential savings by students in the course, sustainability beyond the initial semester and the ability to use the alternative textbook in 2017.  Each grant recipient will have to submit a report that describes the alternative textbook, the number of students impacted, estimated student savings, and a short evaluation of the experience with the program.  Outcomes of the program will be shared with the UK community.


The proposal submission deadline is April 29, 2016.  For more information about the Alternative Textbook Grant Program, please contact UK Libraries Director of Digital Scholarship Adrian Ho at or UK Libraries Senior Associate Dean Mary Beth Thomson at



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT:  Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716

Legacy Gift for NICU Renovations Honors Mother of Outgoing KCH Council Chair Missy Scanlon

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 15:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2016) — In the Kentucky Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a shared sense of loyalty to patients unites neonatologists, nurses, surgeons and support staff in their work.


NICU caregivers exert every effort to achieve the best possible outcome for patients and their families — through whatever means, and to whatever end. 


The NICU staff’s unflinching commitment to caring for families reminds KCH Development Council Chair Missy Scanlon of someone who instilled in her the importance of pushing forward until the job was done — her mother.


“They serve the families, whether it’s a good outcome or not a good outcome” Scanlon said of the NICU staff. “They see the tiniest of babies with these situations and they don’t give up, and that’s how my mom was.” 


Scanlon, the chair of the Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) Council, said her mother Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor wouldn’t quit working until she finished the task at hand. While Taylor confronted a number of setbacks in her life, she faced conflict head-on and fought her battles with grace and dignity. Scanlon used the metaphor of a duck on water to describe her mother’s handling of tough situations — gliding across the surface but paddling with urgency underneath.


“She was a good soul, and she tried her best,” Scanlon said of Taylor. “You keep going until it’s done and you just don’t stop — whatever you have to do, whatever you have to make happen, you have to keep going until you get it done.”


Nearing the end of her second and final term as KCH Council chair, Scanlon has mirrored her mother’s determination through years of leadership, volunteerism and fundraising on behalf of KCH. Sealing the completion of a renovation and relocation of the NICU, Scanlon has donated a $2 million legacy gift to name the new facility after her mother. The March 20 gift announcement occurred on the would-be 90th birthday of Taylor, who passed away in 2002. The Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor NICU, set to open in the spring of 2018, will equip the NICU staff with more resources and greater capacity to care for Kentucky families.


The new Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor NICU will feature spacious patient rooms and areas for family consultation and privacy. The 47,000-square foot facility will accommodate the rising number of patients and families receiving care at the region’s only Level 4 Pediatric Trauma Center. Patient rooms, themed after Kentucky native wildlife and landscape, will include conveniences for the long-term stay of patients, including sleeper sofas, wardrobes and kitchen spaces.


The new location on the first floor of the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital will improve the flow of patient care with direct access to the Pediatric Emergency Department. The facility also provides new spaces for procedures and training, including a new procedure room, a simulation room for training exercises, and “huddle” rooms for staff mentoring and team building.


The KCH NICU serves as a regional hub for advanced neonatal care, with pediatric transport services from 22 hospitals across Eastern and Central Kentucky. In 2015, the KCH NICU admitted 913 babies and the NICU Graduate Clinic scheduled more than 1,500 appointments.


UK Executive Vice President of Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf recruited Scanlon to serve on the KCH Council more than a decade ago. Scanlon brought to the Council experience increasing awareness and fundraising for causes in the Lexington community. Scanlon’s civic life has centered on efforts to improve the health and welfare of children.


Scanlon steps down as KCH council chair in June but plans to continue advocating and organizing on behalf of KCH. The KCH Development Council consists of volunteer community leaders who provide organizational support and advisory council to strengthen KCH and elevate the awareness of KCH in the community. Scanlon credited the cohesiveness of a hardworking KCH Council and an exemplary KCH staff for gaining ground to transform KCH facilities. Channeling the wisdom of her mother, Scanlon emphasized that the job isn’t finished for the KCH Council.


“KCH is near and dear to my heart — it’s my happy place,” Scanlon said. “There are so many things that are happening there, and there are so many things that need to happen there.”


To learn more about KCH, click here. For more information about giving to KCH, click here.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams,


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue

UK Honors Invites Faculty to Submit Course Proposals

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 15:39

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Honors Program is inviting UK faculty to submit course proposals for the Spring 2017 semester. The program is actively looking to recruit new faculty and new course offerings to better expand the depth and breadth of the Honors curriculum.


Honors offers faculty the opportunity to teach intensive, rigorous courses with smaller groups of students; existing courses can also offer Honors sections within their own departments. Recent Honors courses have included "Music and War in the Twentieth Century"; "Development of a Biotechnology: Protein Design and Engineering"; "Honors Asian Philosophy"; "Honors Special Topics in Writing: Horror"; "Human Aging: The Ticking Biological Clock Within"; "Honors German Fairy Tales"; and "Babies are Not Pizzas: The Science of How Babies are Born, Not Delivered."


All Honors courses should incorporate at least one of the following elements: interdisciplinary content, use of primary materials, independent research, intensive discussion, intensive writing, and the development of critical thinking and analytical skills.


Social Sciences and Arts and Creativity courses are of particular interest at the moment, but Honors would encourage any interested faculty of any discipline to take a look at the requirements and consider designing and proposing a course. More information is available at 



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue

CORRECTION: Seth Russell Now Executive Chef at Boone Center and The Club at Spindletop

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 15:29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2016) — The Club at the University of Kentucky's Spindletop Hall has named Chef Seth Russell the new culinary director and executive chef. Russell, who has served as the executive chef at the Hilary J. Boone Center for the past five years, will remain in that position as well. 


He spent his formative years in Lexington and Versailles and steadily worked his way into higher profile establishments such as Amelia’s Field, Roy and Nadine’s, and Dudley’s. He later traveled to France for a year apprenticeship in a Michelin-starred inn in the Burgundy region of France and ultimately graduated near the top of his class from the French Culinary Institute in New York City.


Russell returned to Lexington to begin work at Idle Hour Country Club as a pastry chef and assistant chef. In 2008, he joined the Boone Center team and was named as executive chef in early 2010.


"It has been a great pleasure working with Chef Russell as he has developed a culinary team that consistently delivers high quality, handcrafted food to the members and guests of the Boone Center," said Gerald Marvel, general manager of Spindletop and the Boone Center. "I’m elated to have him bring the same talents to bear for the dining pleasure of the members of The Club at UK’s Spindletop Hall. His food is really fabulous!"


Drawing inspiration from around the world, Russell sources the freshest local ingredients to put a twist on traditional Kentucky cuisine.


"I am excited to bring my culinary expertise and love for great food to our members of The Club," Russell said. 


The Club at UK's Spindletop Hall is running a spring promotion that allows 50 percent off membership initiation fees for UK faculty and staff through April 30. For more information, visit the employee discount site at


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT: Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155,

Fayette Schools Chief Holds Second Listening Session on UK Campus

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 15:02

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016) — Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Emmanuel “Manny” Caulk is seeking input on the future direction of the school district. In partnership with the University of Kentucky Office of Community Engagement, Caulk is hosting a listening session March 24 for all UK faculty and staff who want to share their opinions about the current state of the Fayette County Public Schools.


The session for UK employees is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, March 24, in the Lexmark Room, 209 Main Building. A previous listening session was held March 16 on campus as well.


The superintendent’s “Listening, Learning and Leading” entry plan has included quantitative and qualitative data collection through school and program visits, one-on-one meetings, surveys, and an organizational and structural review of the district across 10 domains. External agencies also conducted curriculum and program audits in career and technical education, and the services provided for students with special needs, students identified as gifted and talented, and students learning English as a second language.


Caulk is holding feedback sessions for community members from across Fayette County to inform his recommendations for making sure that every student achieves his or her unlimited potential. 


Please RSVP for the UK session by email to or by phone at 859-257-7144 no later than March 23.



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue


MEDIA CONTACT:  Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155

Holmes Award Presented to Women in UK Nursing Areas

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 13:58

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016) — Two University of Kentucky women who profoundly contribute to issues that affect women at the university and across the Commonwealth received the Sarah Bennett Holmes Award March 10 during a luncheon ceremony at the Hilary J. Boone Center on campus. Nicole Waite, staff, and Kristin Ashford, faculty, received the 2016 Holmes Award.


The award recognizes one female faculty member and one female staff member who promote growth and well-being of women at the university and across Kentucky. Created by the UK Women’s Forum, the Sarah Bennett Holmes Award has been among the most esteemed recognitions bestowed at UK and brings recognition for efforts that might otherwise go unnoticed.


Nicole Waite is an administrative support associate at UK HealthCare Nurse Recruitment. She is instrumental in assisting with scholarship programs and internships for nursing students. In the past three years Nicole has helped her team develop new hiring processes, which accelerated interviewing and resulted in record onboarding. She is also a board member and secretary for After The Storms Inc., a nonprofit organization helping victims and survivors of domestic violence.


Kristin Ashford is currently serving as the assistant dean of research at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, and is nationally known for her work in the field of perinatal tobacco use, immune response, and preterm birth research. She has been instrumental in the Kentucky Giving Infants and Families Tobacco-free Starts (GIFTS) program, a prenatal tobacco treatment program across Kentucky, which provides enhanced and supportive services for pregnant women who use tobacco.


Guest speakers at the Sarah Bennett Holmes Award Luncheon were the 2015 Holmes Award recipients Pamela Remer and Joanne Brown.


Nominees for the 2016 Holmes Award included 15 faculty members and eight staff members.


Faculty Nominees:

·         Elizabeth Arnold, College of Fine Arts, Vocal Music

·         Kristin Ashford, College of Nursing

·         Christia Brown, College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology

·         Patricia Cook-Craig, College of Social Work

·         Renee Fatemi, College of Arts and Sciences, Physics and Astronomy

·         Lindsey Fay, College of Design, School of Interiors

·         Diane Follingstad, Center for Research on Violence Against Women

·         Jenna Goldsmith, College of Arts and Sciences, English

·         Laura Meints, College of Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology

·         Jonell Pedescleaux, College of Education, Kinesiology and Health Promotion

·         Rebekah Radtke, College of Design, School of Interiors

·         Susan Smyth, Gill Heart Institute

·         Anita Superson, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy

·         Margaret Szabunio, Department of Radiology, Division of Women’s Radiology

·         Robin Vanderpool, College of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior


Staff Nominees:

·         Jane Andrus, School of Art and Visual Studies

·         Neomia Hagan Flores, Robinson Scholars Program – Undergraduate Education

·         Nancy Jennings, College of Nursing, UK’s Polk Dalton Clinic

·         Tracy Macaulay, College of Pharmacy

·         Shonta Phelps, Gatton College of Business and Economics

·         Ashley Rouster, Violence Intervention and Prevention Center

·         Nicole Waite, Nurse Recruitment

·         Marianne Young, Gatton College of Business and Economics


For a list of past winners, visit


Sarah Bennett Holmes, a distinguished former dean of women at UK, tirelessly championed the rights of women throughout her career. Widowed at a young age, Holmes raised four children while completing her own education. She then began a successful career at the university where she inspired young women to persevere in the face of hardship and pursue their career goals. Among her accomplishments, Holmes developed work programs for women during the Depression.


In her honor, the UK Women's Forum created the Sarah Bennett Holmes Award and since 1994 has been honoring women at UK who demonstrate the same principles as Holmes through their work and service.


The UK Women's Forum is an organization for all employees of the university faculty and staff. Its mission is to exert a leadership role in empowering, validating, informing, including and celebrating all women employed at UK by addressing challenges, communicating issues and recognizing successes within the context of the workplace.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Egg Hatch Begins in Central Kentucky

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 11:49

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2016) — An eastern tent caterpillar egg hatch was reported March 17 in Scott County.


“This year’s first observed hatch is seven days earlier that 2015, reflecting the warm spring temperatures,” said Lee Townsend, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment extension entomologist. “The hatch is not synchronized; tiny larvae will continue to emerge over the next two weeks from eggs laid last summer on wild cherry, flowering cherry, apple and related trees. This is a hardy insect so low temperatures in the 30-degree Fahrenheit range should not affect their survival.”


Eastern tent caterpillars spend the winter as tiny, fully developed insects in distinctive egg masses that encircle twigs of wild cherry and related trees. It is one of the first insect species to become active in the spring and is well adapted to survive Kentucky’s erratic winter and early spring weather.


Populations of eastern tent caterpillars have been increasing steadily over the past four to five years.


This trend is likely to continue, producing locally high numbers in some areas, Townsend said. The rise in numbers is normal and mirrors the cyclical aspects of insect populations in general. Eastern tent caterpillar cycles are roughly 10 years in length. After two or three high years, the numbers usually drop again due to diseases or natural enemies.


When mature, the large, hairy caterpillars wander from their developmental sites along fence lines. Consumption of large numbers of caterpillars by pregnant mares precipitated staggering foal losses in the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS) outbreak of 1999-2001. MRLS can cause late-term foal losses, early- and late-term fetal losses and weak foals. UK researchers conducted studies that revealed horses will inadvertently eat the caterpillars, and the caterpillar hairs embed into the lining of the horse’s alimentary tract. Once that protective barrier is breached, normal alimentary tract bacteria may gain access to and reproduce in sites with reduced immunity, such as the fetus and placenta.


Townsend said horse owners and farm managers with pregnant mares should begin to monitor fence lines containing wild cherry and other host trees in about seven days. They should look for small tents produced by developing caterpillars.


If practical, farm managers should plan to move pregnant mares from areas where these trees are abundant to minimize the chance of caterpillar exposure. The threat is greatest when the mature tent caterpillars leave trees and wander to find places to pupate and transform to the moth stage.


Eastern tent caterpillars are also a significant nuisance to people living near heavily infested trees. The caterpillars may wander hundreds of yards in search of protected sites to spin cocoons and pupate.


To get rid of active caterpillars, Townsend recommends pruning them out and destroying the nests if practical. Farm managers can use any one of several biorational insecticides registered for use on shade trees as needed. Spot treatments to the tents and the foliage around them can be applied according to label directions, which vary by product.


For more information about how to assess trees for egg masses, the UK Entomology publication, "Checking Eastern Tent Caterpillar Egg Masses" is available at



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue



MEDIA CONTACT:  Holly Wiemers, 859-257-2226